SCCM Task Sequence Hangs

Posted by mathias

A lot of people use a Task Sequence to deploy applications after the Operating System has been installed.  A customer of mine had an incident where the TS hung  because Hotfix KB2761938 wasn’t installed on the clients. This stopped the clients from  receiving applications. Except for installing the hotfix on the clients there’s a pretty easy fix for this.

But first, here are the symptoms of a hung Task Sequence:

.ExecMgr_OnContentAvailable invalid request GUID handle

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Running a User Discovery for ONE user…

Posted by mathias

Isn’t it annoying when a customer has a “bad” AD-structure that makes it impossible to run user-discovery or system discovery often enough? By “bad” AD-structure I mean putting computers or users for an entire organization in one OU for example. The drawback of not being able to run User/System-discovery often enough is that users will have to wait for their applications after the computer is installed since SCCM doesn’t know about the group memberships until the discovery tasks are run.

I’ve come up with a method for inventoring only one computer/user. In this first post of two I’ll describe the process for users, which is useful if you run user-based installations. » Continue Reading


Remove computer from collection after installation

Posted by mathias

I just have to mention this great link. When you’re done with an OS-Deployment and eventually want to remove the computer from the install collection, a common way to do this is with a script in the end of the Task Sequence. But this is a much sexier way to do it, by removing the computer from the CM-server when the status message from the Task Sequence is marked as finished.

Danovich is the author.


USMT Offline Migration in Windows PE with Hardlinks

Posted by mathias

This is something I wanted to do a long time and thanks to Niall Bradys excellent guide at it was easy. Except for the parts that were hard. :-) There seems to be a few problems with USMT4 at the moment. Especially with 64-bit Windows 7. I’ll tell you in a sec. what I ran into…

I also wanted to make Niall’s Task Sequence a little shorter with VBScript, I like my Task Sequences short and snappy. Or at least, as short as they can be. Peter van der Woude also has a post on this, but hey, I’m using VBScript! :-)

Let’s get on with it. What are we talking about here? User backup of all important files, bookmarks, user profiles and their desktops using Microsoft User State Migration Toolkit v4. We want to do this not from within Windows but during the Windows PE state before we apply a new OS.

The good thing about doing this in Windows PE and with Hardlinks is pronounced Speed. Hardlinks make file copying locally and over the network unnecessary. It needs no extra disk space and there won’t be any locked files as when you’re doing migrations from within Windows. It’s not magic but it’s pretty close.

Also if you have a computer that doesn’t boot into Windows but has lots of important files on it and with a readable disk – this is the only way to copy that data.

The only thing you can’t do with USMT and Hardlinks in Windows PE is if you’re replacing the hardware. USMT with hardlinks in Windows PE mode is for re-installing the computer with a new OS (or OS version) only. For other scenarios you need a server-state store. That method is not covered in this post.

Let’s jump straight to business. Here’s what my Task-sequence looks like, stripped off stuff that’s not important for what we’re trying to illustrate here.

First a short overview of what it does. All the meaty details are further below. You can download the entire Task Sequence here. (Rename it to *.xml and import into SCCM.)

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